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May 9, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Ask Constance

My bf and I have been fucking for ooh, 11 months or so now. Together ‘exclusively and romantically’ for the last 5ish. The sex is just wonderful, the perfect combination of kinky and lovin’. My problem is, I’m totally curious about other men [and women]. I feel like I’ve come to sexual maturity, or some crap, and wanna explore! Naturally, he’ll let me take on another chick if he’s there… but I don’t want him screwing someone else. Is this selfish to want this for me, but not allow him to do it? Shit son, whadduidooo?

Hey hey, Welcome to the monogamy question that has stumped… pretty much every sexually liberated person. It is, unfortunately, selfish to want to fuck others but not allow your boyfriend to do the same. So, you’re faced with the “do I want to fuck others badly enough for me to a) get over him doing the same, even though it makes me uncomfortable or b) break up with him and metaphorically go sow my seeds?”

 Firstly, the whole threesome thing is problematic for a few reasons. It’s dismissive of your boyfriend to be okay with you fucking another girl, because he’s assuming that Other Girl is not a threat to him, which she very well could be. I hate that whole “it’s okay if it’s with another chick” shit, because (although sometimes it can be meaningless fun) it reduces woman-on-woman love to nothing which could ever replace or threaten heterosexual sex. Which is laughably untrue. It’s also positioning the threesome as eyecandy for himself, which is an added benefit, but not the main reason to enter into a sexual encounter.

Bringing a third party into an otherwise monogamous relationship (even for just one ‘purely sexual’ encounter) requires really clear boundaries, lots of communication, and everyone being on exactly the same page. Because you’ve realised (kudos) that him fucking someone else makes you uncomfortable, I don’t think you should go down the route of watching him do it. Especially given his potentially naive feelings about what a threesome could mean for you.

What you then have to decide is do you want to have other experiences so much, that you are willing to deal with your aversion to him doing the same? You need to be really honest with yourself on this, and consider all possible outcomes. Ask yourself if you think your relationship could survive a change back to non-exclusivity. If your answer is yes to both of these questions, then you need to consider how polyamory would work for you both.
However, if you feel that ultimately the polyamourous set-up isn’t right for you, you need to decide whether you want to stay monogamous and, if so, whether you are ready to accept and live without acting on your desires to sleep with other people.

I use those words deliberately, because I don’t think that anyone really has absolutely no desire ever to sleep with anyone else on the face of the earth. Those of us in monogamous relationships have to accept and make peace with those feelings, and decide if our current set up is worth enough to us to not act on them. There is this quote that I can’t find now (of course, the one time Google fails me) but it effectively says that (monogamous) love isn’t about loving someone so much you never have the desire to be with anyone else; it’s about loving someone so much that in the face of those desires, you still say “no”. Maybe saying “no” says more about love then never having to.

If you decide that you would rather have more sexual experiences over staying with your current partner, then more power to you. It is far better that you’re honest with yourself and him, than feeling guilty, trapped, and end up becoming unfaithful.

Have a think about what your priorities are, what the pros and cons of all options are, and I think you’ll find there’s a clear preference somewhere in there. But be prepared for it to not be as clean cut as you’d like, because even in preferences there’s compromise: If you go polyamorous you’re going to have to compromise on your dislike of him fucking others, if you stay monogamous you’re going to have to compromise on your desire to explore, and if you leave him your going to have to compromise on having a boyfriend. What compromise can you live with the most?

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